The mid-90s sick building syndrome caused the World Health Organization (WHO) to release a Declaration on Occupational Health For All, addressing the impact that the built environment has on our wellbeing and overall health. Since its publication, occupational health has grown to become a more important conversation among health professionals, architects and building owners alike.
The indoor climate
To turn buildings into a positive agent for human wellbeing, Lara Muller, CEO and co-founder of the Blue Building, notes that there are seven key elements to consider that relate to both the design and management of spaces – indoor air quality, light, comfort, access to water, nourishment, mind and fitness. These elements are essential to ensuring the health, vitality, and productivity of occupants.
Read our full interview with Lara Muller, CEO and co-founder of the Blue Building
The effects of acoustics
Acoustic considerations are one of the most important design factors in healthy buildings. People, electronics, HVAC systems, mechanical equipment and other noise-emitting devices can be a major source of indoor noise. As Robert Lacey, a British Historian writes "Of all the varieties of modern pollution, noise is the most insidious".
Sustainable building design
In recent years, the indoor environment has been on the agenda for many stakeholders in the building industry. Realizing the impact that healthy buildings have on people, architects and interior designers have begun including sustainable strategies into their construction and building materials they use, which helps stabilise the value and lifecycle of the building.